Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Turns out, the act of giving to others is also one of the best ways to achieve a life-work balance.
Just ask Igor Vilas Boas, Operations Manager at Prime Air & Ocean Cargo (PAOC) of Doral. He and his wife Diana knew they wanted to do something to help their community. What they didn’t know was that their volunteerism would end up being a two-way street.
“Giving is not only good – it feels good too,” he said, soon after joining with a group of friends to pitch in at a local foster home.
“Sure, you can go online, buy a toy, and have it delivered to a needy kid,” said Vilas Boas. “But we wanted to do something that would be more lasting – something that would make a bigger impact.”
They ultimately enlisted to volunteer on weekends at His House Children’s Home of North Miami, a frontline provider of residential and foster-care services dedicated to restoring the lives of children in distress.
In the process, they quickly recognized that the mere act of disconnecting after a busy week, to reconnect through charity work, was helping them gain a healthy work-life balance.
“Sure, it feels good to bring a bright moment to a child in need,” said Vilas Boas. “But I found that engaging like this outside of office also helps to keep me balanced.”
Like Vilas Boas, many people chose to volunteer as a way of achieving a work-life balance – by unplugging from a demanding desk job volunteer to plant a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or help out at a children’s program.
“For me, it is better to donate your self – not your stuff.” With that said, it is worth noting that in his native tongue, Vilas Boas in Portuguese means, “Good Village.”
“I’d like to think I am doing good work for the greater ‘village’ – our community,” he said.
Vilas Boas came to Miami from Sao Paulo about eight years to work with PAOC, a key division of Prime Group Holdings, an international import-export logistics conglomerate founded based in Doral.
Today, in his demanding role in operations and customer service, he ensures that things run smoothly for PAOC’s customers and freight forwarders, from the moment they request a quote, through shipment of their goods, to delivery.
The work-life balance definition sets out to achieve an ideal balance between a person’s working life and private life. It is a concept whereby the maximum happiness of an employee acts as the fuel for productive and fulfilling work.
Turning off distractions and enjoying uninterrupted quality time is one method by which workers relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate, as is meditation, music, and physical activity – anything that allows people to get away from the pressures of their everyday work life.
However, one of the most satisfying means for many people is to engage in volunteer work.
Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, but the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer. Studies show that the act of giving to others can help employees protect their mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, make them mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
Best part is, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment. The act of giving, in even simple ways, helps those in need.
So, when the spirit strikes, Vilas Boas and his crew head over to the His Home campus on a Saturday or Sunday, and pick out a child to work and play with. On a sunny day, they go outside to toss a ball or play hide-and-seek. On rainy days, they enjoy video games or board games – or just talk.
“If only for an hour, the kids feel good and get a sense of being integrated again into the community,” said Vilas Boas. “Even though they don’t speak about their issues, or their feelings, you can see when someone comes in to play with them they light right up.”
When it comes to volunteering, “Passion and positivity are the only requirements,” headed. Not surprisingly, these are two of the very qualities Vilas Boas brings to his work with the Prime Group.
About “His House”
His House Children’s Home is a non-profit organization with a 232-bed capacity situated on a beautiful campus at 20000 N.W. 47th Ave., Hector Building No. 2, Miami Gardens, FL 33055. They care for children removed from their homes during turbulent times in their lives, abuse, abandonment, and neglect.
For information call 305-430-0085 or visit www.hhch.org.
Prime Air Ocean Cargo has a unique ability to streamline, optimize, and expedite freight to and from the U.S. for a wide range of major industries. They work closely with air carriers and ocean carriers to secure competitive rates and ample space to destinations all around the world.
For information, call 305-592-2044 or visit www.primeaircargo.com.